Can it really be that simple? Actually, yes, but how well you execute on these determines your success.
Let’s break it down…
1. Clarity – Identifying what you want in your next job is critical to ensuring job search success and helps employers imagine where you fit in their organization. When job seekers say “I am open to anything. I can do a lot of different things,” that sends the message that they are not clear on their zone of genius (what they do best to produce the best results) and will likely struggle to communicate their value offering to an employer in their resume or during an interview.
Clarity does not mean backing yourself into a narrow window of opportunity, but rather expands the pool of the RIGHT opportunities for you with the employers aligned with your skills, qualifications, personal values, and professional goals. Not everyone is the right fit for every position or every organization and taking the time to identify the specific work you want to do with the type of company and leadership support you desire, will yield better results than throwing darts at every position that pops up on Indeed or LinkedIn.
2. Confidence – Confidence in your abilities and willingness to own your talents and accomplishments may be the deciding factor of success in a job search. Employers hire people to solve their problems, and if you are shy about speaking to how you solve problems, quantifying the difference you’ve made at a previous employer, the process you follow to produce results that no one else can, then you may miss the job meant for you.
Clients often tell me they don’t like talking about themselves. I don’t believe this. I believe they don’t know how to effectively talk about themselves, which makes them feel awkward about it. Many people, including new graduates, feel like tooting their own horn will turn others off and that perhaps the work they have produced is not worthy of mentioning. Not true! If you don’t own your greatness, why should an employer want to hire you and pay you for it?
Confidence means knowing what you want, believing you deserve it, and trusting you will receive it. A strong value statement with specific examples to help lay out your story for employers helps them to decide if you are the candidate they seek. Mine your accomplishments. Own the value that you bring. Communicate it with confidence and clarity.
3. Customization – Customization of your career marketing tools is an important element of today’s job search. Applicant Tracing Software (ATS) makes it necessary to include the keywords that match the verbiage used in the employer job posting. But beyond navigating the ATS, including the keywords and themes that align with the posting language helps a human reader as they scan your resume to determine if you have the skills, experience, and education they seek.
With this in mind, one size does not fit all anymore and infusing personal branding throughout your resume and LinkedIn profile can help employers understand the unique value you offer and see you as a person they will be inviting to join organization, not just a resume.
Customization of your career marketing tools supports the first point – clarity – and reinforces the goals you have set for your job search. This means that you will likely need a few versions of your resume, modified to support the job you are applying for. Don’t let that overwhelm you into not taking the time to customize your resume because it usually does not mean a complete rewrite, but rather a rebranding of your resume information to ensure alignment with the specific job you seek.
Don’t forget your LinkedIn profile! Take the time to create a branded, keyword-rich headline and replace the default of your current job title. This provides insight into your value offering (zone of genius) and helps recruiters locate you as they are searching for job-specific candidates on this platform. Also, LinkedIn allows you to choose 50 Skills to post on your profile. Be sure to choose the top 50 you want to represent your brand. To neglect selecting all the skills allowed is literally leaving money on the table, as it decreases your visibility to recruiters searching for candidates like you.
Often times job seekers postpone a job search because they become overwhelmed with the work that needs to go into it. Understanding best practices to accelerate your job search is important, but easily manageable if you keep these principles in mind. Don’t miss out on your next perfect opportunity, but rather, go after it, because you deserve it!